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Reisverslag Oh hi, Koh Pha ngan!
25 september 2014
Oh hi, Koh Pha ngan!
Warm salutations from the lovely and sunny island, Koh Pha Ngan!
I have been here since Sunday but it feels like I have settled in already. :)
I enjoyed my short stay in Bangkok, got to see quite a bit but still havent’t had enough time to explore the city. The hostel was pretty good and met some awesome people there.. I think that’s the best thing about traveling, just doing random stuff with random people from all over the world. During my stay I went on two different excursions. One to Ayutthaya which was a temple tour and a tour to the railway market and the floating market. Both of the day trips were incredible but like I said before, I was ready for some relaxation… Another reason for me to anticipate leaving the mainland was because I got sick of haggling and bargaining all the time. Sometimes it feels like a sport and you can get a kick out of it but mostly it is just very irritating when you have to negotiate about every penny. For example: I booked a tour to the temples and paid 800BHT and someone else paid 300BHT. It is not like that’s a lotta money but it just doesn’t feel right! Or that time when I was charged 30BHT for a coconut and a Thai person was charged 20, right in front of me.... not fair! Hmmmm, I guess being overcharged is a part of being a tourist in Bangkok! It is a good thing I moved on quickly ;)
About my Koh Pha Ngan adventure... Let’s talk logistics, how did I get here?
First I took a taxi to the airport, the lady from the hostel told me to make sure not to pay over 300BHT and when I asked the driver he said it was going to cost 200BHT. Yayyy! Finally, I wasn’t getting ripped off this time?! After some waiting I caught a flight to Surat Thani where I had to purchase a bus and ferry ticket.
It all went surprisingly smoothly. Except for one thing. Now, what I am about to tell you is a piece of advice that should not be ignored! Word of advice: When you’re traveling and moving around a lot, like I am, DO NOT BRING A SUITCASE. I dont think you can guess how many times I cursed it? Absolutely hating it and considered throwing it off the bloody skybridge in Bangkok… It is not amusing, having to drag it around when you are lost (and yes I do get lost during traveling, it’s bound to happen to the best of us).
Another time abandoning my luggage crossed my mind was when I had to carry it up insanely narrow stairs on the ferry and also, after I arrived on the island. This is what happened, I was going to stay at a place called “Golden Rock” where they have little huts near to the beach and I asked to motor taxi (yes, I took a motor taxi with my suitcase and everything haha) to drop me off there. Once I got there I asked the people to show me the bungalow. Wait, I should call it a hut, because that’s what it was. It was a hut, like one that Tarzan would probably stay in… Ok, it had a shower but that is it. It had so many cracks in the floor that I could imagine all the bugs crawling over me and eating me alive in the night. So, I had to change my plan and luckily my contact here knew a place… which was “just down the road” well try walking with your suitcase and backpack in the heat under the burning sun on a gravel road! Instead of panicking I decided to take it easy, eat a little bit first and then hit the road.. A full stomach and a cold bottle of water makes up for a lotta stuff. Had to keep my shit together as I had no choice and it wasn’t so bad…. Paradise was just around the corner… and after a 20 minute walk I had finally reached a place to call home for at least the next month: Phangan Cabana… I am still mulling over one thing… What made me feel more excited? The fact that there is aircon here or the exquisite view? No jokes though. The view here… mind blowing! The beaches, the clear water and the palmtrees… Wow!
Alright, so now that I am done whinging about my suitcase and how I got here, let me tell you a little bit about Koh Phangan. Koh phangan is a small island (population of approx. 13000 people) in South East Thailand. It is most famous for the “Full moon parties” where people get drunk and high on drugs. That basically happens once a month and attracts a lot of tourists who just come here to get pissed and pee in the ocean. Luckily, I am staying on the other side of the island where I hopefully, will not see that many party people. I am not saying I won’t attend the party at all cuz I wouldn’t mind checking it out but it’s not on my bucket list at all.
Another thing that attracts people to this place are the many yoga retreats and schools. Which is the reason why I am here. I got in touch with someone from a yoga school and we emailed back and forth for a bit so I decided to stay here for a while… On Monday I took my first class and it was great, it is an outdoor space surrounded by palmtrees which is wonderful, really. I am aiming for at least 2 hours of yoga a day, maybe I can squeeze in another 1,5 hours after a while but for now it’s enough. Doing yoga here is very intense as the average temperature is around 30 degrees. Another thing that makes it hard, are the mosquitos. Try doing “the bird” while there is a mosquito in your ear! Yes, the insects here are quite a pain and they can’t seem to get enough for me, lovely. I am like a walking Chinese buffet :)… So anyhow, I was going to sign up for a one month course to attend an entire program including yoga, wisdom classes, meditation etc but when I talked to one of the people at the school they said I could volunteer. The only thing I need to do is take a few shifts a week at the welcome center which is practically, tidying up the place, getting people to sign up for classes they want to attend and make sure they pay. On average it is only two or threee half day shifts a week. Easy enough and I have nothing else to do ;).
Now it has been four days since I started yoga. I like working on myself, physically and mentally… But I think I can do more than that… and I am considering to look for another volunteering job… I am going to do some research, ask around about teaching English on the island too. Not sure if it is legal or not but they don’t seem to be too strict around here so I should be fine. It’s not like I am going to charge people any money. I just noticed how poor some people’s English can be around the island which is quite hard to understand since their main income is probably tourism. We will see, I will keep you all updated…
Okay, I think I should go to bed… I am just going to upload the photos so you all can have a glimpse of all the beauty I am fortunate enough to witness.
Hope you are having a nice day where ever you are and that you are happy!!
PS: to those who have left me comments, thank u! I read all of them but can't instantly reply to them through my blog :(! Thanks! Love them.
Foto's bij verslag (8)
26 september 2014 07:44 | Door: carolien
Hahaha, weer erg genoten van je blog!!! Ik ken dat gevoel zo goed, met teveel bagage/koffer op stap ;-) Veel liefs (ook voor je muggen) en hoor snel weer... xxx Carolien
27 september 2014 00:55 | Door: Winnie
Zo fijn om te weten dat het goed gaat met je. Jouw schrijfkunst is een genot om te lezen. Ik hoop dat je intens geniet van alle ervaringen en natuurlijk van de reis naar jouw mooie kern.
Love U yogi...X
27 september 2014 17:56 | Door: Marije
Wat Winnie ook al aangeeft: heerlijk om je verhalen te lezen! Ik kijk alweer uit naar het volgende verhaal
29 september 2014 17:06 | Door: henry